Cost of Litigation

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I have no documentation to confirm this, however it seems believable. According to some knowledgeable people the cost of a ladder includes 30% in anticipated legal expenses. Thus a ladder selling for $100 includes $30 to fund actions of folks who fall off the product.
Perhaps some others in the NG have some thoughts on this. Joe G
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This is my own personal recollection: About 20 or 30 years ago, ladder makers were besieged with lawsuits as people who were candidates for the Darwin awards misused ladders and hurt themselves. I think many ladder manufacturers were actually sued out of business. The same thing was going on all over America as we became the litigious society we are today. As a result of that activity, ladders now have so much safety and instructional information on them that you can't find the ladder. Maybe ladders got better as a result.
I think you will find that the same is true in many other product lines, as well as services. It sure is true for my doctor. He is retiring next month and wanted to work a litlle, but the cost of maintaining his liability insurance makes it problematic.
Somebody has to pay the salaries for all those lawyers.
from the soapbox of: Pete Stanaitis ----------------------------------------------------
GROVER wrote:

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spaco wrote:

There's a petition going around Washington (state) now to limit "frivelous" (sp?) lawsuits. In theory, I favor that, but it bothers me as to who's going to define what is and what is not.
In Spokane, the city attorney is infamous for filing malicious litigation countersuits every time someone sues the city, regardless of whether the suit is valid or not.
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Wal-Mart has a policy of never settling a "slip-and-fall" lawsuit. It might cost them $50,000 to defend a claim that could be settled for $5,000, but the lawyers know they can't make a dime on a meritless claim.
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Wonder if the Yale club has a similar policy. Bit ironic that one of the prime proponents of curbing lawsuit abuse is suing the Yale club because he tripped trying to jump up on the stage....
All he had to do was ask for help.
cf. Bork v. Yale Club
scott
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Wrong.... I have an in-law that they settled with for medical expenses and lost time
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I expect he can find a way around that. My wife only works a few days a year, and the hospital covers her insurance. Presumably they pay on hours worked or some such.
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When you see the number of warning labels on a ladder, it's not hard to believe.
Lawyer: That may be so, but you did not instruct potential users of your products that erecting a ladder in the back of a moving pickup truck was dangerous. How are they supposed to know that?
R
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just to many lawsuits over anything now days people can sue for their own stupidity. you know it's 98% of the lawyers that make a bad name for the rest of them. ross www.highislandexport.com
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GROVER wrote:

I doubt it, but ... there certainly is a cost attributed to it, indirectly. Companies lump all that under one budget heading known as CODB (Cost of Doing Business), sort of like Overhead (electric, heat, etc).
Pop`
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wrote:

Not too long after I went to work for Cessna Aircraft Company, before Cessna suspended production of light single engine aircraft in the late '70's/early '80's, the cost of product liability insurance for each unit we produced was equivalent to the list price of a C150 (the smallest, least expensive aircraft we produced at the time). The exact numbers are lost in the haze of memory but it made the decision to suspend production of single engine aircraft a no-brainer.
Production of those aircraft didn't resume until congressional action passed a product liability relief act that put limits on how long the producer was exposed to product liability for old production units. Until that time, the company was liable and could be sued in 1980 because of a "defective" unit that left the factory in 1930. Seemed to me like the "defect" should have been discovered before the airplane had been in service for 50 years. The lawyers and juries didn't agree.
In short, I'm skeptical of your 30% figure only because it seems low.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Cost of litigation is not the only issue. What about advancements that will never happen because of fear of litigation. For example, think about the things around us today that we take for granted, and a ladder would be one, that would never have been developed in the litigious atmosphere of today. If the caveman had to deal with lawyers the wheel would have never got off the drafting cave wall.
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RE: Subject
Litigation is about the only recourse an individual has against a well funded adversary.
Product/Service liability is a necessity, IMHO.
Having said that, the system is broken.
If people realized what percentage of a physician's fee was to cover the cost of their liability insurance, for example, the country would probably revolt.
We need to keep litigation as a tool; however, the system needs major work, and I'll be the first to admit, I don't know how to do it.
Lew
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Stop the "No win no fee" litigation funded by lawyers, and impose penaltys for filing malicious litigation countersuits of 200x amount claimed. Put a limit of 10% or $300,000 whichever is lower of payout that can be paid lawyer or law firm. this is a start.
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 08:44:28 +0900, snipped-for-privacy@spamblock.net (Jerome Meekings) wrote:

Consider that actual (provable) damages plus realistic legal fees should be all that is collectable by plaintiffs. All punitive damages to go to state/appropriate political division general fund.
A comparison between an Alligator and a Litigator is that the alligator demonstrates more compassion and less greed.
--
Mr.E

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On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 20:19:26 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@totally.invalid wrote:

...
...
And if it proves impossible to outlaw contingency fees, make it illegal to include "punitive" damages when computing the fee.
Make the unsuccessful plaintiff responsible for the cost of defending the suit. In effect, the cost of defending against an unsuccessful suit is a damage suffered by the defendant caused by the plaintiff and should be actionable/recoverable.
Those two items, in themselves might do wonders in cutting down on the number of frivolous, nuisance lawsuits.
Always did seem strange to me that if "punitive" damages are intended to be a "punishment" or "fine" on the offending party, why are they treated differently from other "fines" imposed by the courts.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Jerome Meekings wrote:

I like the British system, which is: loser pays. If you lose the lawsuit, you pay for all legal fees including the costs incurred by your adversary. This would give the large companies more incentive to fight frivolous lawsuits rather than settle out of court. In addition, it would make many people take a second look before filing a frivolous lawsuit. With the "no fee if we don't win" system that we have now, lawyers seek out people and try to get them to sue.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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I think one of the first things we need to do is get the american people to wake up and think for themself. To my very limited knowledge of courtroom procedure, I have never heard of the attorneys going into the jury room. As as sure as god made little green apples , you can find 23 people on this site that would not give a huge award , meaning 100 millon for whatever , then again I would not be surprised to find 12 that would award that amount. I guess we are our own worst enemy
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A generation raised on a steady diet of corporate villains and legal heroes isn't likely to change things. Until we can say "greed" without what seems a prefix of "corporate," there will be no thoughtful deliberation.
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote in message

You file a suit, you lose, you pay ALL costs. (then follow that up by a Federal law prohibiting law school graduates from holding public office).
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Last update: 6/1/07
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